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Column: Vancouver Michelin Restaurants

Vancouver officially has eight Michelin-starred restaurants.

Michelin has just announced its 60 recommended restaurants in Vancouver, which includes eight restaurants that received a coveted Michelin star and another 12 restaurants that were given a Bib Gourmand distinction.

A Michelin Star is one of the highest honours that can be bestowed on a restaurant in the culinary world.  The eight Vancouver restaurants that received stars are: AnnaLena, Barbara, Burdock & Co., iDen & QuanJeDe Beijing Duck House, Kissa Tanto, Masayoshi, Published On Main and St Lawrence. 

Kissa Tanto, Published on Main and St. Lawrence was on many people’s list of restaurants that would likely obtain a star.  AnnaLena and Burdock & Co are fairly established restaurants that are known for a high level of cooking.  I have been fortunate to eat at these five restaurants and although I may have my personal preferences and opinions, I can understand how these restaurants would merit a star.

Barbara and Masayoshi are fairly small restaurants that flew under my radar.  I have not dined at these restaurants and I won’t be able to try these restaurants anytime soon, given reservations will probably be booked up for months. 

I have also dined at iDen & QuanJeDe Beijing Duck House.  The restaurant’s décor is palatial and you will get a fully immersive cultural experience.

Whatever you think about the actual restaurants that were awarded stars, this is a very positive development for our whole region.  Michelin brings worldwide attention and Vancouver will now be seen as a culinary destination.  This should attract more visitors to our region and the debate among foodies will lead to a more vibrant and energetic culinary scene.

Twelve restaurants were awarded a Bib Gourmand distinction.  A Bib Gourmand restaurant is a restaurant where you can get a quality meal with two courses with wine or dessert for under $60 a person.  The 12 restaurants are: Anh and Chi, Chupito, Fable Kitchen, Fiorino, Kin Kao Song, Little Bird Dim Sum and Draft Beer, Lunch Lady, Nightshade, Oca Pastificio, Phnom Penh, Say Mercy! and Vij’s.  Chupito is closed for the season until the spring of 2023 and Nightshade is a vegetarian restaurant. I recently visited Say Mercy! and you can find my review here.

For those who think Michelin only recommends expensive, formal restaurants, it is nice to see that all of the Bib Gourmand restaurants are fairly casual and with some of the restaurants, you will spend much less than $60 a person.

This is the first year that Michelin has rated restaurants in Vancouver and it is likely that the next time Michelin updates its recommended list, there will be more restaurants recommended and more stars awarded.  Even though Michelin is here, that does not take away from the hundreds of wonderful restaurants in Vancouver that Michelin hasn’t discovered yet.  We are fortunate Michelin hasn’t recommended Richmond restaurants yet so Richmond residents will probably have a few more years of enjoying our restaurants to ourselves!

For a more detailed analysis of the Michelin star and Bib Gourmand restaurants, see these links view the videos by clicking here and here.

Until next time, happy drinking!

Tony Kwan is the Richmond News' new columnist. Lawyer by day, food and wine lover by night, Kwan is an epicurean who writes about wine, food and enjoying all that life has to offer.

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